Deconstructing the Circuit Board Sandwich: Effective Techniques for PCB Reverse Engineering presented at defcon 2014

by Joe ( Kingpin ) Grand,

Summary : Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), used within nearly every electronic product in the world, are physical carriers for electronic components and provide conductive pathways between them. Created as a sandwich of alternating copper and insulating substrate layers, PCBs can reveal clues about system functionality based on layout heuristics or how components are interconnected. By accessing each individual copper layer of a PCB, one can reconstruct a complete circuit layout or create a schematic diagram of the design.
In this presentation, Joe examines a variety of inexpensive, home-based solutions and state-of-the-art technologies that can facilitate PCB reverse engineering through solder mask removal, delayering, and non-destructive imaging. The work is based on Joe's Research and Analysis of PCB Deconstruction Techniques project performed as part of DARPA's Cyber Fast Track program.